Followers of Jesus need to know the answer to this question.
Followers of Jesus need to live out the mission of the church.
And we need to not just talk about living out the mission of the Church – we need to do it.
We need to measure the success of any church based on whether the church is fulfilling the purpose of it’s existence.
Pastor Greg VanderMeer (Lead Pastor, Fair Haven Church) wrote about the answer to why the church exists in a weekly email to the church he leads back in March 2014…
C.S. Lewis, one of the greatest theologians of recent times, took a crack at answering that question. He said, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became human for no other purpose.” That is a bold statement. Many of us were taught to be careful when using words like always or nothing. There always seems to be exceptions. Never, only, and nothing are defining words. Clearly, C.S. Lewis meant to draw a line in the sand.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts all have a charge that was given to the Church. In each case it sounds slightly different, but it remains the same. We exist to make disciples. Our life as one family is meant to bring the transforming power of Jesus Christ into our community, region, and world. It is far more than attempting to share the gospel with as many people as we can. It is more than attempting to get as many people as possible to say the “sinners prayer”. It is about making disciples who in turn make disciples. It is about being so touched by the gospel that the gospel in you touches others. Who is your gospel touching?
Curry Blake said, “If your gospel isn’t touching others, it hasn’t touched you!” I suppose we could say the purpose of the gospel touching you is two-fold. First, God became human for no other purpose than for His gospel to touch you and me. His plan was to touch you and make you His. Second, that gospel in us is now meant to touch others. The purpose of every sermon you hear, every book you read, and every encounter you have in the scripture is not simply to give you enough for the day or week so you can make it through. That would mean the whole purpose of the church is about you. It is not. The purpose is to strengthen you for the purpose of serving Christ in this world. Touched by the gospel we have the opportunity to touch those around us.
Lord, give us eyes to see. Show us where you are at work. May the gospel that has so touched us now radiate through our words and actions to touch those around us!
“The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ.” – C.S. Lewis
“If your gospel isn’t touching others, it hasn’t touched you!” – Curry Blake
“Who is your gospel touching?” – Greg VanderMeer